Investigating Kurdish Women’s Experiences With Education in Kurdistan With Respect to Oppression
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The following thesis provides a qualitative study that sought to answer the question: What do Kurdish women’s experiences reveal about women’s education in Kurdistan with respect to oppression? The study was framed within a postcolonial feminist framework to investigate Kurdish women’s lived experiences within education in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The study used feminist research methods to collect and analyze data. Through purposeful sampling, 5 Kurdish women living in the KRI were recruited and interviewed by the researcher through one-on-one, semi-structured interviews. The researcher used an interpretive approach for data analysis to investigate participants’ experiences as women and as members of an ethnic minority. The study was conducted through a postcolonial feminist lens, which highlighted the unique social categories in which Kurdish women find themselves. The study found that the women’s lived experiences were determined by the intersections of gender, ethnicity, religion, location, SES, and age, among other social categories. Such categories affect women’s quality of life, freedom, and education, as identified by the women themselves. Further, the women identified the following factors acting as barriers that impede their equal access to education and opportunities: gender norms, family, culture, distance, disability, language, and conflict. The study also lays out how women make sense of and cope with such barriers and inequality, before concluding with recommendations for changes based on participants’ knowledge and lived experiences.